Wednesday, March 25, 2009

home sweet home

It's lovely to be back home, here in America, where we are definitely spoiled like no other. I'm recovering from a long vacation in Europe -- visited a total of 8 countries in 17 days. Overall, it was a "chaotic adventure." I'm still settling back in, but I will blog with a few details. I didn't come back with lots of international wedding inspirations, but I think I'll be able to give some insight into potential honeymoon spots!

. . .(click for full post)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

update {03.05.09}

{out of the office beginning tomorrow 3/6 thru 3/23}
I was honestly going to try and schedule some blogs to post while I'm out...BUT, I think I should put work on hold for once and simply enjoy my vacation. Guess where I'm going? You'll hear from me after the 23rd...hopefully with some international inspiration! That's "bon voyage" to you wedding ladies and gents! . . .(click for full post)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

subject matter

We, at bellz&whistlez, love, love, love to bring something new to each and every wedding -- whether it be a funky color scheme, interactive station, daring invitations, or flowerless centerpieces. Much of our inspiration comes from everything we are exposed to on a daily...that, along with our super creative brains. We have an appreciation for all things original, and almost always encourage our clients to do something never seen before. With this, we'll be rolling out blog posts that are meant to inspire, categorized by subject matter. The plan is to post a blog about each of these subjects at least once a month. It's going to be fun! Look out for these b&w subjects: "The Daring Diva," "Color Fanatic," "Interior Dezign," and "Street Inspired." . . .(click for full post)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

our planning :: surprises, bloopers, and more

One last post about our planning -- mark my word! I got a chance to share our wedding experience, but to keep it real, we did see some things that weren't part of the plan! (LOL) And to append to my message that "your big day will go as it was meant to be," I wanted to post some surprises, bloopers and unique events that took place on our big day. Nonetheless, I learned (early on) to let things go (right away) and went with the flow -- and I wouldn't have had it any other way. We definitely added a personal touch to our wedding and gave our guests something new! My memories of our big day will always make me smile...and I laugh and cry at what a great time we all had.

The story and the photo(s). Enjoy!

Hair do? I was the one who fixed Abram's hair that morning. He came in blindfolded. I also fixed one of the flowergirls' hair. Who said I couldn't do hair on my big day?

Low blood sugar. Right before we were going to walk down the aisle, my dad started pacing back and forth, complaining that he felt like he was going to faint, blaming me for doing "that" to him. LOL. He downed a can of Coke to get his blood sugar levels back up. I thought I was supposed to be the nervous wreck!

We rehearsed twice the day before, but for some reason, it didn't work that way. Abram and my dad were supposed to shake hands to signify his "giving me away." For some reason, I ended up shaking hands with Abram. My dad's laughing cause he knew it was wrong.

Makeup faux pas! I needed a little more glue! My left false eye lash was fluttering in the wind during the entire ceremony. Not sure if it was a plus that it prevented me from crying, but the last thing I wanted were false, dark black lashes on top of my chest! LOL. Yes, I fixed it right after.

My mother-in-law surprised me with a family heirloom gift at the wedding. So sweet.

Guevarra? Or Guevarr-o? The emcee intro'd us as "Mr. & Mrs. Abram Guevarr-o"
(instead of Guevarra!) despite having the exact pronunciations of our names, syllable by syllable! LOL

Dance with my dad. First Q he asked while we were dancing? "So, when are you going to give me grandchildren?" I sweetly explained, "Dad, I just got married less than an hour ago."

Gone in 60 seconds. Ok, the candy station was rampaged. Lesson? Provide smaller bags -- much smaller bags.

I've never seen a group of bachelors so excited to catch the garter. I thought I saw one of the guys do the splits trying to grab it. OMG(osh)

PhotoShop War? So, our friends have been doing this for years -- PhotoShop War. It's where we super-impose each others faces on other pictures for a good laugh. We have lots of comedians in our circle of friends and family, so Abe and I decided to do a PhotoShop War on 10 people, including our dads, bridal party, and bro-in-law. We showed a regular photo of the person and explained his/her significance in our lives and then flipped to a PS photo. Thank goodness for my PS skills. It was hilarious! Even 7-Degrees' tech commented that it was the funniest montage ever. This is "Noel Dynamite," our Best Man.

Noel's wife's reaction. Priceless.

So, what'd I tell you about "surprises?" Charles, our brother-in-law, decided to take the mic and give a wonderful, surprise toast. Good thing he went up to give a toast, 'cause he was able to save us some time by introducing himself to the crowd.
Little did he know he was to be surprised with a PS War photo! It was the closer of the series and the laughing lasted for a good 3 minutes.

His wife's reaction? She had to keep her dress from falling. (Charles and Noel gave each other high 5s for making it in the PS War series. Surprisingly, others expressed how they wanted to be in it.)

Yes, I went there with the Dancing Heads video of "Baby Got Back," which was filmed a year earlier at Universal Studios. I did this with my mom's BF, Albert (center), and my nephew, Billy (right).

Reaction from a 12 year old? EM-BAR-RASSED. What a perfect photo!

My reflection: I would love to experience our wedding over and over again.
. . .(click for full post)

wedding shoes…classy, hip, & blingin'

I mentioned earlier that I got a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes for our wedding. Again, they were pretty high-heeled, but were extraordinarily comfortable. I bought my heels at Nordstrom at South Coast Plaza and was so happy. Here's a b&w board I put together showcasing current SW's shoes that are classy, hip, and blingin'. Who said wedding shoes have to be white and close-toed? (Though I did find some darling white heels!) They have a great selection of wedding/evening heels. I LOVE the comfort, though I know, regardless of who makes them, we will all have different "shoe" experiences.

I bought shoes that I knew I could wear again -- and I do wear them! SWs aren't cheap, though I have spotted SWs on sale at Nordstrom Rack for less than $75…but you have to do your bargain shopping!

Stuart Weitzman's Catchet in white | $296

Stuart Weitzman's Brigette | $498
. . .(click for full post)

Monday, March 2, 2009

our planning :: 20 :: the big day

'Tis the end to a fun journey! Sadly, I've reached the finale of my "planning" posts. I've approached the BIG DAY, and I had a great time sharing some of the things Abram and I went through during our planning. I really hope some of you learned something! Again, my posts are truly just my opinion and in all good intent. Planning will always vary from couple to couple, but at least you were able to get some insight to the curve balls Abe and I were thrown and advice that reflects how we caught those curve balls. There are so many other topics I could blog about, but I wanted to leave the newly engaged couples other experiences to look forward to. Yes, some things were easy, but some things were SUPER challenging. The biggest challenge? Learning to let go of things that just wouldn't or didn't work. Practice this and you'll be one happy camper, as your big day will go as it was meant to be. Last words of advice: 1) Step back and ask yourself if the planning makes sense, and 2) make your wedding your own, incorporating personal touches that are only characteristic of you and your fiancée. Do these things and not only will your guests remember and appreciate a well-executed wedding, but you will enjoy and cherish what you've spent all year long working on even more. Thanks for stopping by our blog! We truly appreciate your daily visits. :)

Some things I missed but wanted to share:
  • Marriage license: You and the fiancée will go together to obtain your marriage license from the city. Bring valid IDs and a check book. It's a fairly quick process, but obviously an important one. It is good for 90 days, so you won't be able to tackle this until 3 months before the wedding. You will have to designate two witnesses to sign the license at the ceremony -- you can choose any one to do this (a sponsor, godparent, parents, sisters, MaOH, best men, children 18+yrs, etc).
  • Programs/Escort Cards/Name Cards Schedule. These small details do take a lot of time to assemble. Unfortunately, you won't be able to start these until you have received all responses and finalized your head count. Reality is, that doesn't happen till about a month before the wedding. No worries, these details are almost always assembled during the last month or two before the wedding. Most brides experience this. Just take in a breath of fresh air; you're not alone and it will get done!

  • Shoes: Ladies, it's ok to spend a little more on comfortable shoes. And try to stay in your heels at least half way through the reception. You're still taking photos and last thing you want are photos with a thrashed bottom due it to being dragged across a wet, alcohol lathered dance floor! Yikes! I splurged on my shoes because I wanted to avoid walking around in house slippers -- totally worth my $. I bought 3.5 inch Stuart Weitzman heels that I was able to walk in ALL night with no complaints. Another brand that sells low-mid heels, and are super comfortable: Via Spiga.
  • For the tears: (Grooms) Tuck a tissue in one of your pockets. Keep this in the event your bride starts to tear, or you do!, during the ceremony. Nothing more sweet than seeing the groom take out a tissue to wipe his bride's tears. Ladies, steer clear of tucking any tissue in your dress. It might not look lady-like to pull a tissue from in between your bosom.
  • Bouquet/Photo's sake: Difficult to remember, but try to hold your bouquet at an angle and waist-height. It's challenging, esp if the bouquet is heavy, but we want to see your beautiful face! And dress! I've seen many brides that "hide" behind their bouquet. :( (I did a good job walking towards the aisle, but on the way back, I started to raise my bouquet!..I think it was heavy. Now, I'll only have photos of us walking down the aisle together with a bouquet that covers my entire chest. *sigh)

  • Saying something? I love when couple's say a little something to the guests. Even a simple "thank you for coming" sentence or two is great. Do this at every celebratory event. (I know, I'm totally cracking up. Abram makes everyone laugh....)

. . .(click for full post)

our planning :: 19 :: music

After all, it IS a party! Music is one of the most obvious elements in any event, besides the décor and food. It's a facet of the planning that should not be skipped, and I highly recommend working with the church coordinator, banquet manager, band, and dj to determine what's going to be heard during the different parts of the wedding: the ceremony, cocktail hour (if applicable), grand entrance, and reception. Couples ought to spend some time "choreographing" their event by choosing songs that reflect not only their personal taste, but ones that will "set the mood." A wedding is a full production, and selecting music involves strategizing. It's the one thing that will connect the guests, and should definitely tie into the tone of the wedding. To think of it, the reception is a celebration -- so play that music and get your party on!

Backdrop of Monte Carlo Band was a rolling montage of our engagement photos complete with Super 8 film coverage, by Nicole Caldwell.

Abram and I are big on music and wanted to portray this at our wedding, so we budgeted for live entertainment. We reserved the fabulous Monte Carlo Band from Los Angeles, to perform at our wedding. MCB's band leader, Lilly Aycud, is a Filipino-American, who plays the trumpet -- such rare talent to come by! Before the wedding, we met with Lilly to coordinate the music. She explained how transitions would work throughout the night (as they emceed the entire reception!), mentioned newly added songs to their playlist, and even helped us choose the songs we wanted to hear. I can't believe how extensive their playlist is -- they are truly the non-conforming band who brings wedding receptions to a different level. MCB is also capable of learning songs; Abram and I chose for MCB to learn and perform specific songs -- the intro of our grand entrance song, "Spottieottiedopaliscious" by Outkast, "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys for our ceremony aisle song, "These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding for our First Dance, and "Night Nurse" by the suave, Gregory Isaacs. During the ceremony, guests were surprised when they heard the live piano intro and amazing vocals from the bamboo terrace above the ceremony, which commenced my entrance down the aisle.

Though the band played most of the night, our good friend, Ardy aka DJ R Type from San Diego, graciously brought his equipment all the way up to Laguna Beach and managed to shine, taking the tables, and putting on some of that much needed line dancing music. His set was only 15 minutes, but really, he came as a guest and enjoyed endless drinks and a fab dinner along with our other friends. In the end, we heard lots of Motown, Funk, R&B, oldies, and even Reggae! … and danced and danced, seriously, till the lights turned on. Oh, and if you're wondering about the photo below, yes, Abram took the mic during "Night Nurse" and sang his heart out. hahahah -- ;0) It was like a concert!

. . .(click for full post)


Just a teaser snippet of the wedding invitations we just worked on -- a whopping 170+ ensembles! Completely custom…completely original…completely rad. More images to come in a later post.

. . .(click for full post)